Update on SubGenius child custody case

Rev. MagdalenHere's the latest news about performance artist Rachel Bevilacqua (AKA Rev. Magdalen), a SubGenius reverend who lost custody of her 10-year-son after a pink judge saw photos of a SubGenius convention she participated in. (Disclosure: I have been a card-carrying SubGenius reverend for 22 years and take the word of JR "Bob" Dobbs to be the literal truth. I have also contributed to Rachel's legal fund.)

From Rachel (AKA Rev Magdalen's blog):

On February 3, 2006, Judge Punch heard testimony in the case. Jeff entered into evidence 16 exhibits taken from the Internet, 12 of which are photographs of the SubGenius event, X-Day. Kohl has never attended X-Day and is not in any of the pictures. Rachel is depicted in many of these photos, often wearing skimpy costumes or completely nude, while participating in X-Day and Detroit Devival events.

The judge, allegedly a very strict Catholic, became outraged at the photos of the X-Day parody of Mel Gibson’s movie The Passion of the Christ — especially the photo where Jesus [Steve Bevilacqua] is wearing clown makeup and carrying a crucifix with a pool-noodle dollar sign on it while being beaten by a crowd of SubGenii, including a topless woman with a “dildo”.

His Honor also strongly disapproved of the photos of Mary Magdalen [Rachel Bevilacqua] in a bondage dress and papier maché goat’s head. The judge repeatedly asked, “Why a goat? What’s so significant about a goat’s head?” When Rachel replied, “I just thought the word ‘goat’ was funny,” Judge Punch lost his temper completely, and began to shout abuse at Rachel, calling her a “pervert,” “mentally ill,” “lying,” and a participant in “sex orgies.” The judge ordered that Rachel is to have absolutely no contact with her son, not even in writing, because he felt the pictures of X-Day performance art were evidence enough to suspect “severe mental illness”. Rachel has had no contact with Kohl since that day, February 3, 2006.

Modemmac of The High Weirdness Project, who has been following the case closely, says:
Since the news of Reverend Magdalen's legal proceedings broke, people have been asking Magdalen to post the actual transcripts of the court proceedings, so that they can read Judge Punch's words for themselves and verify that she was speaking the truth. The transcripts of the case were to become available by March 6th. However, for the entire week since March 3rd, Magdalen has been absent from the Internet, and she has not been able to make the transcripts available.

The reason for Magdalen's absence (and the lack of the transcripts) became clear as of Thursday, March 9. On that day, I learned that the judge had ordered Magdalen to cease all communication on the Internet regarding her son. This was not a written statement – the judge had verbally ordered her to remain offline, and no written order was available. Magdalen stated that even though the order was verbal, the court considered it to be an official order from the judge, and so she has had to remain offline since then.

However, as of March 15th, Magdalen had obtained legal reputation from none other than the law firm of Lipsitz Green Fahringer Roll Salisbury & Cambria, LLP. (This firm includes Larry Flynt and Marilyn Manson among their clients.) Magdalen's legal team is challenging this order. When the order is overturned and she is online again, she will have quite a story to tell.

IMPORTANT: Because Magdalen has a new legal team, donations to her legal fund are to be sent to a new address. Paypal donations can still be sent to magdalen@subgenius.com. Checks or other payments can be mailed to the attention of:

Christopher S. Mattingly
Lipsitz Green LLP
42 Delaware Avenue
Suite 300
Buffalo, New York 14202-3857

Since Rachel Bevilacqua isn't allowed to update her blog, I've got a summary of the case with updates at this page.

Rev. Ivan Stang has a page with more of a history of the custody case (before it took a twist and we all became involved).